Members of the new Adventist church at Forrester’s Beach (NSW) were forced to postpone their opening ceremony on March 21 due to it being the first Sabbath of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions for Adventist churches in Australia.
“Guests and VIPs were all invited, a wonderful program had been put together. Everyone was looking forward to the day with great anticipation, after waiting so long and overcoming so many obstacles,” said Bill Townend, chairman of the church’s building committee.
The congregation—an amalgamation between Erina and The Entrance churches on the Central Coast—have expressed disappointment at the postponement, given the long history of negotiations with council that was finally settled in the church’s favour by the Land and Environment Court of NSW in March 2019.
Once permission to build was granted, construction started immediately and the project was finished in early 2020. Now, a brand new and completely finished church complex sits empty, having never been used, with no certain opening date yet confirmed.
“All Adventist churches were asked to close until further notice starting on the 21st of March, the very first Sabbath our first meeting and official opening were to take place,” Mr Townend said, highlighting the irony of the situation.